Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
 
When Sparrows Build
By Jean Ingelow (1820–1897)
 
WHEN sparrows build, and the leaves break forth,
  My old sorrow wakes and cries,
For I know there is dawn in the far, far north,
  And a scarlet sun doth rise;
Like a scarlet fleece the snow-field spreads,        5
  And the icy founts run free,
And the bergs begin to bow their heads,
  And plunge, and sail in the sea.
 
O my lost love, and my own, own love,
  And my love that loved me so!        10
Is there never a chink in the world above
  Where they listen for words from below?
Nay, I spoke once, and I grieved thee sore,
  I remember all that I said,
And now thou wilt hear me no more—no more        15
  Till the sea gives up her dead.
 
Thou didst set thy foot on the ship, and sail
  To the ice-fields and the snow;
Thou wert sad, for thy love did nought avail,
  And the end I could not know;        20
How could I tell I should love thee to-day,
  Whom that day I held not dear?
How could I know I should love thee away
  When I did not love thee anear?
 
We shall walk no more through the sodden plain        25
  With the faded bents o’erspread,
We shall stand no more by the seething main
  While the dark wrack drives o’erhead;
We shall part no more in the wind and the rain,
  Where thy last farewell was said;        30
But perhaps I shall meet thee and know thee again
  When the sea gives up her dead.
 
 
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